March 21, 2023

When planning a household highway journey we pulled out a map and took a have a look at all of the potential locations to go inside 4 hours drive from our household in New Jersey, and by some means Gettysburg, PA captured the curiosity of my nine-year-old. I wasn’t certain how a lot she would get out of it since I wasn’t certain what there was to do there moreover have a look at the Battlefield and children sometimes don’t even examine the Civil Conflict till eighth grade.

As soon as I began trying into it although, I used to be shocked by all of the issues to do in Gettysburg, even for teenagers! After doing analysis and getting some assist from Vacation spot Gettysburg, we had been capable of put collectively a jam-packed itinerary for two days in Gettysburg that had one thing for everybody and confirmed us that there was a lot extra to Gettysburg than simply the Battlefield.

Past that, we discovered the Gettysburg Battlefield to be far more impactful than a subject full monuments. The realm’s devastating historical past had a profound influence on us, touched our hearts, and ended up being a spotlight of our journey.

So in case you are planning a household journey to Gettysburg, PA, here’s a pattern itinerary with loads of enjoyable issues to do in Gettysburg with children and a pleasant steadiness between historical past and household enjoyable.

Issues to do in Gettysburg, PA

Cannon at Devil's Den at Gettysburg PA

Day One

Disclosure: Our go to, together with lodge, sights, excursions and a few meals had been generously hosted by Vacation spot Gettysburg and the Hilton Backyard Inn Gettysburg however the opinions are totally my very own.

Go to the Gettysburg Nationwide Army Park

Gettysburg Cyclorama
Scene from the Gettysburg Cyclorama

I at all times suppose it’s a good suggestion to start out off your day with museums when children are contemporary and fed versus later within the day. As you drive by means of Gettysburg you’ll be able to simply get caught up by glimpses of assorted monuments and wish to get proper out on the Battlefield,

Nonetheless, I consider that spending time within the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum will assist create a greater understanding of the occasions main as much as the battle and foster higher comprehension throughout your Battlefield tour.

Should you haven’t executed so already, ebook your excursions and take a look at the Junior Ranger and Nationwide Park applications whenever you arrive. It would be best to begin your go to with the Cyclorama. Earlier than we went to Gettysburg many associates and kinfolk mentioned, “You HAVE to do the Cyclorama,” however I had no thought what it actually was.

Principally earlier than there have been IMAX theaters, there have been cycloramas, that are 360 diploma work that depict a scene (on this case, the Battle of Gettysburg ) and are surrounded by artifacts and landscaped foregrounds to create a three-dimensional impact. Painted by Paul Dominque Phillipoteaux and his assistants, the Cyclorama of the Battle of Gettysburg was first displayed in Chicago in 1883.

Earlier than you enter the precise Cyclorama, you’ll go to a theater to observe a 20-30 minute movie about slavery and the problems main as much as the Civil Conflict, an summary of the primary occasions of the Civil Conflict main as much as the Battle of Gettysburg, culminating with an summary of the three days of preventing that occurred in July 1863.

From there, you’ll transfer upstairs to a theater housing the Cyclorama. Place yourselves anyplace alongside the rail and when the presentation begins, you’ll hear how the final day began with Pickett’s Cost. Utilizing gentle to spotlight parts of the portray and sound the scene will come alive. Afterward, you should have a number of moments to maneuver round and have a look at the opposite parts of the portray. Remember to search for a person standing close to a tree holding a sword, that is the place painter Phillipoteaux put himself into the image.

After taking within the Cyclorama, you’ll want to spend about an hour exploring the Gettysburg Museum of the Civil Conflict. That can assist you perceive the timeline, the museum leads you thru the displays beginning with the occasions main as much as the Battle of Gettysburg and the by means of every of the three days of the Battle and the aftermath. Every part incorporates a video that takes excerpts from what you noticed within the Cyclorama and expands upon them to offer a greater understanding of who’s who and the Battle timeline and areas.

The museum ought to hold your children intrigued with so many multimedia displays. Along with the movies, there are a lot of touchscreen, interactive displays all through the museum to carry historical past to life. It is usually an awesome preparation for a go to to the precise Battlefield. After exploring the museum, guests can even cease in to the useful resource middle to analysis any ancestors that will have fought at Gettysburg.

The customer middle is positioned on Baltimore Road, simply south of downtown Gettysburg. Plan on spending 1.5-2 hours on the park museum and customer middle.

Downtown Gettysburg

After the museum, it’s possible you’ll begin to get somewhat hungry. I’d advocate heading into Downtown Gettysburg. Situated at 20 Lincoln Sq., proper within the coronary heart of downtown Gettysburg (5 minutes from the Battlefield), The Pub & Restaurant is a Gettysburg basic that gives a really intensive menu that ought to hold the entire household pleased.

After lunch, take a while to walk by means of downtown Gettysburg and do some buying. Remember to cease and take your image with Abraham Lincoln proper within the sq..

Go to the Shriver Home Museum

2 Days in Gettysburg, PA - visit the Shriver House Museum

Within the morning, you should have discovered loads in regards to the Battle of Gettysburg, however a go to to the Shriver House Museum will present you what it was like for the civilians on the town. From guides in interval costume you’ll learn the way Mrs. Shriver left their dwelling and saloon and took her household out to the household farm into the center of the battle.

When the household returned they discovered their home had been shot up, became a hospital, and utilized by Accomplice sharpshooters in the course of the battle. The museum is positioned between downtown and the customer’s middle at 309 Baltimore Road. Excursions run each half hour and take roughly one hour.

Dinner on the Dobbin Home Tavern

2 Days in Gettysburg, PA - dinner at the Dobbins House
Rooster and shrimp on the Dobbin Home

If you end up prepared for dinner, an awesome historic choices is the Dobbin Home. There are two eating choices on the Dobbin Home; the downstairs Springhouse Tavern for informal eating and the upstairs eating rooms for effective eating in a interval environment.

We opted for the interval eating upstairs and I used to be so pleased to see their kids’s menu had choices moreover the everyday hen fingers and french fries. I had the hen and shrimp dish (scrumptious) and my daughter selected strip steak (from a child’s menu that supplied Pasta, Baked Rooster, Baked Shrimp, Filet Mignon and Strip Steak.) Should you go to you must also take a look at their museum upstairs that reveals how the Dobbin Home was a cease on the Underground Railroad.

Dobbin Home Tavern is positioned at 89 Steinwehr Ave, Gettysburg, PA 17325.

Take a Ghost Tour

Apparently professionals suppose there’s a number of paranormal exercise in Gettysburg, which is conceivable with what has occurred there. If you’re fascinated with exploring the paranormal, there are a variety of ghost excursions obtainable in Gettysburg. I’ve a daughter that’s simply spooked so we didn’t reap the benefits of these excursions.

Day Two

Tour the Gettysburg Battlefield

2 Days in Gettysburg - touring the Gettysburg Battlefield

There are various methods to tour the Battlefield, together with bike excursions, horseback excursions, bus excursions, audio self-driving excursions, and even segway excursions! However the best way I’d advocate in your first go to to Gettysburg with children can be with an official Battlefield Guide. Should you go this route, make your reservations no less than 3 days prematurely by calling 877-874-2478.

Our guided tour of Gettysburg Nationwide Army Park was extremely informative and transferring. I’d extremely advocate reserving a registered information. Renae MacLachlan, our Licensed Battlefield Information, actually introduced historical past to life for us with graphic descriptions of the sounds and smells of the Battle of Gettysburg to seize our consideration, as a result of solely by making use of our creativeness to all of our senses might we start to fathom the dimensions of this devastating battle.

“In the course of the Battle the bullets had been flying so quick and thick it gave the impression of hundreds of hornet nests, but after the battle no birds could possibly be discovered, they had been all scared away,” defined Renae. “Folks lay dying for days as they solely saved these price saving, not burying the final individual till April of the next yr — the stench could possibly be smelled as distant as Harrisburg.”

“The sulphur from gunpowder burnt the within of soldier’s and native’s noses and affected their sense of odor for as much as 5 years after the battle.” Renae didn’t simply inform us in regards to the battle logistics, she took us again to that day and helped us think about what it was wish to be a soldier and a civilian in the course of the Battle of Gettysburg.

I requested Renae what it took to grow to be a Licensed Battlefield Information and she or he gave me a glimpse into the trouble it takes to realize this place. It isn’t only for historical past buffs. Along with studying and finding out a stack of books, candidates are screened to see how they work together with guests, together with households.

They should know the right way to have interaction the know-it-all historical past buff whereas nonetheless making it attention-grabbing for his or her teenage children, and the right way to hold the eye of school-aged kids by making the historic sights accessible to all ages and pursuits. Not solely that, she must know the placement of all 1,320 monuments and memorials to assist guests which might be on the lookout for sure states or ancestors.

That’s practically 6,000 acres of land to cowl in simply two and half hours in a method that’s significant, participating and academic. Not a straightforward job, however they do it they usually do it exceptionally properly as a result of they aren’t simply guides, they’re storytellers.

The story begins with the method of Lee’s military, considering they’d encounter only a few Union troopers and shocked by the scale and energy of the power they encountered. We actually noticed the benefit that the excessive floor afforded Union Common Meade, as we launched into a path following the three-day battle step-by-step.

Immediately the monuments started to make sense as we began to determine which belonged to which military based mostly on the placement and the route they had been going through (matching the place of the suitable military and regiment.) We discovered how regiments custom-made their monuments with symbols like a Celtic cross or their canine mascot. Renae additionally described the right way to determine which of the 410 cannons had been authentic versus reproductions.

With Renae driving our automotive, we had been capable of give attention to all the data she was relaying, whereas feeling free to go searching and picture the armies marching throughout the fields. And although I wasn’t driving, we had been nonetheless capable of cease and discover any of the areas we thought appeared attention-grabbing, together with climbing as much as the highest of Little Spherical Prime, scrambling across the rocks at Satan’s Den, and taking within the view from the highest of the Pennsylvania Memorial.

In case you haven’t surmised it already, I couldn’t have been extra impressed with our go to to Gettysburg with a Licensed Battlefield Information.

Lunch at One Lincoln

In any case that battle discuss, you’ll have to decompress a bit within the afternoon. Begin with lunch at One Lincoln within the Gettysburg Resort.

Go to the The David Wills Home 

You probably have power for somewhat extra historical past, after lunch you’ll be able to cease by the David Wills Home, the place Lincoln stayed the night time earlier than his well-known Gettysburg Handle, at 8 Lincoln Sq..

Take a Drive out into the Nation

Hauser Estate Winery on the Gettysburg Wine and Fruit Trail

Subsequent, it’s time to go to a number of the farms, markets and wineries alongside the Gettysburg Wine and Fruit Path. There are various locations to pattern native wine and ciders. One in every of my favorites is Hauser Property Vineyard.

In early October, households will even love collaborating within the Nationwide Apple Competition, which has been celebrated in Gettysburg for over 50 years! Right here you can see arts and crafts distributors; vintage and basic automobiles; hayrides; a petting zoo; pony rides; pie baking and consuming contest; scarecrow constructing; and tractor sq. dancing.

On weekends in September and October, households can benefit from the corn maze, hayrides, petting zoo, pumpkin choosing, zipline and different actions at Fields of Journey.

Discover Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum & Sweet Store

Among the finest stops for those who love quirky sights is at Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum and sweet store. The place else can you discover 12,000 elephants however in Gettysburg? As soon as you might be executed shopping by means of his intensive show, you’ll be able to have enjoyable buying on the over 700 kinds of candies and fudge.

Dinner at The Garryowen Irish Pub

There are many locations on the town to have dinner however in case you are in an Irish temper (or notably like bacon and wish to attempt their Tuesday Bakon Nights), the Garryowen at 126 Chambersburg St. is an genuine pub with Irish fare and music.

Should you Have Extra Time in Gettysburg

You probably have greater than three days, there are extra enjoyable issues to do in Gettysburg together with:

Land of Little Horses

The Land of Little Horses is a cute interactive animal park. Open April by means of October, the Land of Little Horses has a big herd of miniature horses, in addition to different farmyard animals. Guests can meet the animals, see every day performances, and even play within the reproduction western city.

Carlisle Sports activities Emporium

This mega entertainment complex has over 75,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outside enjoyable for all ages with three go-kart tracks, two 18-hole themed miniature golf programs, a 2-story lasertron laser tag area, an arcade, an indoor mountain climbing wall, curler skating and café.

Liberty Mountain

If you’re visiting within the winter, close by Liberty Mountain affords snowboarding, snowboarding and tubing for the entire household.

Eisenhower Nationwide Historic Website

Dwight Eisenhower was stationed close to Gettysburg in World Conflict I and when he wished a spot to calm down, he returned and purchased a farm very near the Battlefield. After turning into President, Eisenhower hosted many well-known company right here together with Premier Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Union, President Charles de Gaulle of France, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Britain, and Gov. Ronald Reagan of California.

Go Biking

Wholesome Adams Bicycle/Pedestrian (HABPI) affords quite a lot of bike trip choices on the town, on the battlefield and all through the county.

Horseback Driving

Nationwide Driving Stables assist you to see the battlefield from a distinct perspective by driving the precise trails the place affords rode and infantry marched in the course of the nice battle.

Meals Excursions

I like exploring a brand new place by means of my stomach and meals excursions are an effective way to do that. There’s no higher option to see the city you’re visiting than to eat your method by means of it.  With Savor Gettysburg Food Tours you’ll be able to discover the historic downtown space and style your method by means of historical past.

Steam into Historical past

Trip a reproduction of the steam engine that introduced Lincoln to his now well-known Gettysburg Handle on the Steam into History prepare. Alongside the best way, you’ll hear in regards to the cities and villages he handed alongside the best way and the skirmish at Hanover Junction previous to the Battle of Gettysburg.

Earlier than you Go to Gettysburg with Youngsters

Notice: This put up could comprise affiliate hyperlinks. Should you click on a hyperlink and make a purchase order, I’ll obtain a small fee. All opinions are my very own.

Whilst you can actually go to Gettysburg with out having first studied the Civil Conflict, somewhat background is useful. Since children normally don’t examine Gettysburg and the Civil Conflict till eighth grade, studying up on slavery, Abraham Lincoln, the Civil Conflict, Gettysburg, and the Gettysburg Handle is an effective option to create some context.

Beneficial studying for youthful children contains:

Older Youngsters may additionally get pleasure from:

Discover a Place to Keep in Gettysburg


If you are planning on visiting the Gettysburg Battlefield, there are tons of fun things to do in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania  (including things for kids!). Use this 2-day Gettysburg itinerary.

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